‘72’ x 3 equals… 99,510lbs of tractive effort
Over 50 years after one of the GWr’s ‘72XX’ 2‑8‑2Ts was last seen in steam, all three ex‑Barry survivors are suddenly looking relatively ‘complete’.
At the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, class prototype No. 7200 has a largely complete ‘rolling chassis’ and the £120,000 appeal to overhaul its boiler is two‑thirds of the way to its target (donations via www.7200trust.org.uk). The Great Western Society’s No. 7202 made a rare outdoors appearance on November 18 (below) to have its cab and smokebox fitted, while things are looking up for the third example, No. 7229 (right) at the East Lancashire Railway. After many years in a dismantled state since it arrived from the Plym Valley Railway in 1990, it was temporarily reassembled for display at the line’s steam gala on March 10‑ 12. Agreement has been reached to place it into a planned ELR Rolling Stock Trust, to safeguard its future operation on the line. Some restoration work was carried out on the engine in the 1990s, and it reached the ‘rolling chassis’ stage ‑ although having been stored outside for many years, further attention will be needed. Nonetheless, the big tank now features in the ELR’s overhaul plans, alongside ‘4MT’ No. 80097, ‘3F’ No. 47324 and ‘9F’ No. 92134 ‑ and the possibility has been raised that it could steam by 2019. Therefore, the most forgotten of the trio might actually be the first to run again.